Tuesday, October 03, 2006

NHL Awards Prognostication

You have my picks for the only hardware that matters (Buffalo winning Lord Stanley's Cup), but for the sake of argument here are my guesses, erm - predictions, for individual award winners in this year's NHL.

Jack Adams Trophy
Coach having most contributed to team's success
Gérard Galland, Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus will experience a true turnaround this year, riding a healthy Rick Nash all the way to the playoffs. Then maybe we'll be able to find Columbus on a map of North America.
Honourable Mention: John Tortorella, Wayne Gretzky


Calder Memorial Trophy
Rookie of the Year
Phil Kessel, Boston Winnie the Poohs

Kessel will drop right into a pivotal role offence and powerplay, picking up 25 goals and 70 points in the process.

Honourable Mention: Evgeni Malkin, Guillaume Latendresse

Hart Memorial Trophy
Player judged to be most valuable to his team
Sydney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

The NHL and everyone involved in it, including the media, are fast-tracking Crosby's rise to superstar, eager as they are to have a poster boy. He is formally anointed heir to Gretzky with this award.
Honourable Mention: Jarome Iginla, Brad Richards

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Player deemed to be the most ladylike

Darcy Tucker, Toronto Maple Leafs

Honourable Mention: Mats Sundin, Andrew Raycroft


Chuck Norris Memorial Trophy
Player deemed to defend like Chuck Norris

Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks

Somewhere along the way, this unfortunately became the award for high-scoring defencement. Ah well, the masses must be fed. Hopefully Niedermayer doesn't roundhouse kick someone to the head with his skates on.
Honourable Mention: Bryan McCabe, Wade Redden


Maurice Richard Trophy
NHL Goalscoring Leader
Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers

Hossa and Kovalchuk will work like magic this season. Kovalchuk wins the title with 62 goals.

Honourable Mention: Joe Thornton, Alexander Ovechkin


Art Ross Memorial Trophy
NHL Scoring Leader

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks

Thornton will become the first player in history to win the Hart and Art Ross trophies after having been traded from the team he captained for reasons unknown other than an a penny-pinching owner. Final tally: 113 points.

Honourable Mention: Jason Spezza, Jarome Igingla

Frank J. Selke Award
Top Defensive Offenceman, or something or other
Mike Peca, Toronto Maple Leafs

All joking aside, I love this award. It sets out to recognize a non-glory type player, one who gives up statistical prominence for the benefit of the team. Unfortunately, this year the award will go to Mike Peca, because there's no way the Toronto media allow the Leafs to get shut out of the awards.

Honourable Mention: Brad Richards, John Madden

Georges Vézina Trophy
Best Goaltender

Dominik Hasek, Detroit Red Wings
I know it hurts, Ottawa fans, but Hasek will be playing with chip the size of the Rideau Canal on his shoudler. This will spur him to a G.A.A. below 2.00.
Honourable Mention: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo